New Phoenix Bishop Aims for Transparency with Sex Abuse Investigations
Posted on: August 16, 2022 Catholic Church Sexual Abuse
John P. Dolan, the new bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix, said the diocese will attempt to be transparent when it comes to investigations of clergy sex abuse. While Dolan doesn’t officially start as bishop until August, he knows questions about the Catholic church’s sex abuse and cover-up scandal won’t be far behind.
In Dolan’s introductory news conference, when asked about sex abuse and the church, Dolan responded:
I honestly don’t know what has occurred here. But yes, the goal here obviously is to be as transparent as we know — not as possible but as we know, what we know.
Dolan’s predecessor, Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, was a supporter of Catholic church sex abuse survivors. Olmsted even went so far as to dedicate biannual masses to them as well as releasing a list of clergy in the diocese who committed sexual abuse.
SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, hopes that Dolan can continue the previous bishop’s promise of transparency. In a statement issued by the group, they want Dolan himself to “audit every file of someone in the diocese accused of abuse.” They are also demanding he make sure a “woefully inadequate” list of “credibly accused” church personnel is brought up to date.
While Dolan stops short of promising to be totally transparent with regards to sex abuse investigations, he does point to his past experience in San Diego in regards to reporting allegations of sex abuse. There he claimed, “We even went beyond the laws in the state of California to make sure that every employee and even our volunteers understood the importance of … being in a sense first responders and reporting to the diocese — basically going to the D.A. or to the police if they should have a case that comes forward.” SNAP and other survivors of Catholic Church sexual abuse are hoping they can take Dolan at his word.
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